Child Rights in WASH
Over the last few years there has been an increased focus on Child Rights within the WASH sector. Children are change makers within communities, and involving them in WASH projects can increase effectiveness and sustainability. NEWAH implements Child Rights Programmes based on enhancing accountability mechanisms at local government and community level. The goal is to create an enabling environment where children and communities respect, fulfill and claim their WASH rights, contributing to the survival, protection and development of children in Nepal. Children from all backgrounds participate including the most marginalized and vulnerable, and all children in the VDC are encouraged to adopt appropriate WASH practices.
Significant new global challenges such as climate change have been emerging, and this also affects the WASH sector. Landslides, floods and drought add new layers of stress and they have prevailing social and economic challenges. Addressing these new challenges with water and sanitation service delivery provision will be an important yet difficult issue for developing countries like Nepal.
The Government of Nepal prepared the National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) to Climate Change in September 2010. According to this plan, one of the priority actions is related to empowering vulnerable communities through sustainable management of water resources and clean energy supply. Accordingly, in the Three Year Plan Approach Paper (NPC, 2010/11-2012/13), one of the strategies under the drinking water and sanitation section suggests to “construct environment friendly (including adaptation to climate change) infrastructures of drinking water and sanitation that would utilize and promote the local resources.”
As NEWAH’s President has been highlighting this very important challenge for the past few years, NEWAH is aware about climate change and its possible effects on WASH projects (past and future). NEWAH is building its capacity to deal with emerging challenges introduced by climate change and its effect on people’s lives, as well as water and sanitation systems.
The actions undertaken in relation to this are: the initiation of Disaster Risk Reduction Programme in two WASH projects in Lewa and Kapedada of Jajarkot district with the support of Concern Worldwide Nepal; NEWAH’s engagement in piloting for Local Adaptation Plans for Action (LAPA) to climate change to contribute to the local development planning. Based on the learning from the pilot NEWAH completed with the support of Climate Adaptation Design & Piloting – Nepal Project in 2010, NEWAH will gradually improve its policy and strategy to address such challenges in NEWAH supported water supply and sanitation projects.